On the 3rd November 2019 at the start of our project to establish a community hub in Breightmet, this is how the land looked in a guided walk and talk seen by 1,200 people on facebook.
In Novemeber 2019 we recieved grant funding from the 'Standing Together' fund through the CVS, this allowed us to purchase a secure shed, soil and two raised beds. The planned project was to create from an abandoned land used for dumping rubbish that only grew brambles into a community hub where food growing could occur. The pictures below show exactly how much work we had to do but with the support of Bolton At Home the landowners we began work.
For one year the project was only supposed to be every Saturday for three hours, we instead ended up doing multiple days and multiple projects from the ever developing community hub. The first day of volunteering where we could invite people to get involved helped to showcase how much work was really needed. Week after week, month after month we expanded the project.
The success of our project isn't just determined by volunteers and fulfilling our goals and aims, it's also a personal matter for us. Will the changes be benefical for nature, the environment and wildlife. Well the discover of a hog for our hedgerow that we named Gary Garstang speaks volumes on that issue.
By July at the Garstang Allotments we had made 100 grow kits for families using the allotments as a storage hub.
We secured grant funding through the NMAW budget, which Breightmet Councillors had kindly allocated us just over £1,000 to buy the tools and equipment we needed to carry out the project.
By August of 2020 we had donated over 20 bags of food to the Bolton At Home pantry, we had recieved grant funding which would allow us to make over 268 Halloween Family bags. The site allowed us to safely social distance during covid while making the bags which we handed out to families in Bolton.
In October it was nearly one year into the project, by this point we had created remembrance day poppies on Bury Road, raising £100 for the British Legion. The large wooden poppies had been displayed on Bury Road for everyone to see and the publics response was overwhelming.
As Christmas approached we took action to brighten up Garstang Avenue in the hopes to brighten up peoples spirits by decorating our donated wendy house and the gates to the entrance using cut artificial trees.
The project came to an end in December and finished on a high, Jon Lord and Noel Sharpe along with Chris Wood from Bolton At Home visited the site to see the completed project. We explained what we had done and how it had progressed and explained our difficulty in working over Winter due to the rain and cold. Jon and Noel offered to put forward the grant funding for us to purchase a weatherproof shack so the project could continue, it was fantastic news and a fantastic finish to a project.
In Spring 2021 we will have our new polycarbonate shed placed on the allotments ready to grow food, we will have strawberry pots to hand out to people, the site will be open and thriving and we can't wait to invite you all to attend and let the Garstang Allotments become your community hub.